The powers-that-be at Nintendo’s Kyoto headquarters have recently claimed that a four player Mario game has been on the cards at the corporation for over twenty years. Knowledge of that kind of shrewd foresight, even when coupled with the company’s incomparable pedigree, simply can’t begin to illustrate just how fresh and entertaining Super Mario Bros Wii is when you’re playing it alongside three friends.
Operating in that same charming, much-loved style of play that dates back to the very first Super Mario Bros title from 1985, New Super Mario Bros Wii is immediately familiar and accessible to anyone who’s ever played a videogame before. Mario fanatics will be pleased to hear that this one works as brilliantly as ever as a single player adventure, but stir three friends into the mix and it turns into a frenetic, barking-mad party game that allows for both cooperation and competition, and which direction you steer it in is entirely up to you. When things get tricky, do you play the hero and save your fellow players from danger? Or cackle and toss them right into the middle of it? It’s your call.
Regardless of how you play, you’ll be laughing loud and often, because nobody quite flourishes as greatly as Nintendo do when they’re crafting an experience as original and communal as this. There are some nice new gameplay additions, like Mario’s penguin and propeller suits (one is used for swimming, the other for flying) but this is basically exactly what Nintendo said it was: more of the classic game you know and love, modified for the first time to allow for some deranged, simultaneous four player action.
It is a truly a one-of-a-kind experience and in its own brilliantly haphazard way, is as essential a purchase for Nintendo Wii owners as the wonderful Mario Kart Wii.
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